Michael Terreri examines the size and scope of Beaird Industries Inc., one of the largest and most modern metal- fabrication and machining plants in the world.
“No matter how big it has to be, we can build it. No matter where it has to go, we can deliver it, anywhere in the world.” Quite a promise, but it is one that is made by the Shreveport, La., based fabrication giant, Beaird Industries Inc. The company was founded in 1918 by J. B. Beaird, who borrowed $500 to start his company one with a mission and vision that centered around the fledgling oil and gas industry in the southern quadrant of the United States. It has since grown into a major fabricator serving the oil and gas, power generation, pulp and paper, marine and medical industries. Its customers include large end users, such as Exxon and Amoco, and important suppliers of equipment to end users. Bechtel, Fluor and Westinghouse are typical examples of these suppliers.
The company, ISO 9001 registered, is unique in its experience and expertise in the engineering and fabrication of large heavy steel equipment. It also maintains a number of certifications and registrations, many from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The company has earned the Chinese Safety Quality License “CM” Stamp.
Significant Product Line
The list of Beaird products is large. The products are large. Their capabilities cover a complete range of plate fabrication and machining. They make ASME-Code pressure vessels for the hydrocarbon processing industries and pressure vessels and machined weldments for the pulp and paper, transportation, power generation, marine, mining, cement and aluminum industries. One of Beaird’s lines, MAXIM®, provides seawater evaporators, heat-transfer equipment, exhaust and intake silencers, waste-heat recovery silencers and catalytic converters.
Products are marketed through a distribution organization consisting of a direct sales force responsible for selling the capital good products, such as pressure vessels, heat exchangers, and gas turbine cases. A manufacturer’s representative organization sells the silencers and evaporators, products of a lesser initial investment. New clients are acquired through advertising, trade shows, and personal visits. The goal is to establish long-term client relationships.
Beaird Industries Inc. has more than 2,000 clients, dispersed throughout the world, with principal markets in North and South America. Twenty-five percent of the products are exported overseas.
Currently, the company is designing a wind turbine tower for use in power generation that is easier and less costly to manufacture. The wind-power market is growing; this product will have a significant impact on it. Other significant changes will include new opportunities created by the company’s holding company, Industrial Holdings Inc., promising numerous synergies with sister companies under the IHI umbrella. Acquisitions by IHI in related industries should prove to be important factors in the overall growth
of the organization.
Current contracts include the manufacturing of three large vessels for processing natural gas in the midwestern region of the United States. Two of the vessels weigh in excess of 1,000,000 pounds. The third is a lightweight: only 600,000 pounds. The two larger vessels are of 203E steel material, which has been spray-arc welded. As part of the execution of the contract, extensive training in spray-arc technique was required for the welders performing the work. The contract required tight delivery scheduling. Teamwork among the end user, the engineering firm, and Beaird Industries is eliminating any potential delays.
Beaird Industries is customer focused as well as customer sensitive. The company listens to its customers, and the message is simple: Make it cheaper, faster and better. Beaird has embarked on an aggressive program of reengineering the company by streamlining processes. With the help of Team Holly, a manufacturing management consulting firm, the company has reduced costs and shortened cycle time. A fully integrated computer system is in place for planning and processing work more efficiently. Many of the manufacturing technologies are being enhanced, such as complete CNC-controlled plate-cutting tables, plate rolls and presses capable of forming material up to 18 inches thick. New techniques such as robotic welding are currently under way. The bottom line is improved efficiency and a solidification of Beaird’s position in the world market.
The company is headed by John Wawrzeniak, president. There is a capable senior management staff: – Len Maliszewski, vice-president of engineering; Alberto Garcia, vice-president of sales and marketing; Ron Northcutt, vice-president of manufacturing; Dale Sale, controller; Jack Ward, director of industrial engineering; O.J. Romero, director of materials management; Larry Bell, director of human resources, as well as national sales managers Patty Procell over MAXIM® evaporator and silencer products and John Maxey, over industrial and contract products.
These 10 people run an organization that employs more than 550 people and occupies nearly 700,000 square feet in manufacturing area alone. The main manufacturing building has 11 acres under one roof and crane clearance of 35 to 50 feet. Total bridge crane capacity is 400 tons. The Shreveport-Bossier Port, located five miles from Beaird Industries, serves the Mississippi River and provides competitive shipping worldwide. A direct railroad line, under construction, will connect the plant to the port, making transportation costs even more competitive.
Beaird’s quality policy speaks of commitment to customers by consistently delivering quality products in compliance with industry standards, customer specifications and the ISO 9001 standard on each and every order. The vision statement recognizes the importance of being a world-class, preferred supplier.